Culture Top News

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater To Reopen With Free Shakespeare Performances Starting September 18

By Jamie Ferrell

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater To Reopen With Free Shakespeare Performances Starting September 18

SF Shakespeare Festival is putting on an exciting performance of Pericles: Prince of Tyre.

SF Recreation & Parks has announced that McLaren Park’s beloved Jerry Garcia Amphitheater is finally reopening! Parkgoers and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike can enjoy a special ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on September 18, followed by a free 75-minute performance of Pericles: Prince of Tyre at 2pm.

The amphitheater has undergone a $1.5M renovation to improve pathways, accessibility, and seating. The adjacent spaces can now receive food trucks and other services, and the overall experience for visitors will be noticeably more comfortable and ergonomic.

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival has put on a series of free performances of Pericles: Prince of Tyre, of which Episodes 1-3 were streamed online. You can watch recaps or the full episodes here. Starting Sunday, September 18, they will perform Episode 4, “This Great Miracle,” which is the first in-person performance in months! It is directed by Carla Pantoja.

September 18 will be the “preview” performance, which is meant to help the cast and crew perfect it before the opening. The public is still welcome to attend. The official schedule is as follows:

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater (McLaren Park in San Francisco):

  • 2pm Saturday, September 18 (Preview)
  • 2pm Sunday, September 19 (Opening)
  • 2pm Friday, September 24
  • 2pm Saturday, September 25
  • 2pm Sunday, September 26

Memorial Park Amphitheater (Stevens Creek Blvd & Mary Ave in Cupertino)

  • 4pm Saturday, October 2 (Preview)
  • 4pm Sunday, October 3 (Opening)
  • 4pm Friday, October 8
  • 4pm Saturday, October 9
  • 4pm Sunday, October 10

Pericles: Prince of Tyre was written in part by William Shakespeare, likely with the collaboration of dramatist and pamphleteer George Wilkins. It’s a long story, but here’s a very abbreviated synopsis:

Pericles is a young prince fleeing the wrath of King Antiochus of Antioch after discovering the king’s incestuous relationship with his daughter. Pericles experiences trials and tribulations during his travels, eventually winning the hand of the beautiful Thaisa, daughter of King Simonides of Pentapolis. The two wed and have a daughter, Marina, before they are separated in a storm at sea, each assuming the other dead. Pericles leaves Marina in the care of his old ally Cleon, governor of the city of Tarsus, and his wife Dionyza. The couple eventually plots to kill Marina because she is more beautiful than their daughter, but their plan is thwarted when she is kidnapped by pirates. Episode 4 starts from this moment!

SF Shakespeare Festival’s exciting performance is a great opportunity to check out the newly-reopened Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park. You can catch the ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on September 18 followed by the preview performance at 2pm.

While you’re at it, consider donating to the SF Shakespeare Festival in order to keep these lovely performances free and accessible to all!


Featured image: SF Parks Alliance